Saturday, 11 March 2017

Intruder arrested after breaching White House


A man scaled the fence along the southern side of the White House before midnight Friday — the first such breach reported during Donald Trump’s presidency, the Secret Service said.

Trump would have been at the White House at the time, according to his schedule, but the intruder didn’t manage to get far.


Secret Service officers arrested him on the south grounds without incident. The man, who was not immediately identified, had been carrying a backpack, but there were no hazardous materials found inside of it, officials said.

The man claimed he had an appointment with the president, according to an official with firsthand knowledge of the incident, but there was no such arranged meeting.

Officers, meanwhile, also swept the south and north grounds of the White House, but “nothing of concern to security operations was found,” the Secret Service said in a statement.

The White House security level was temporarily raised to “orange” — one of the highest — as a result of the intrusion.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was briefed on the incident. It’s unclear whether any other members of the Trump family were home at the time, and the Metropolitan Police Department deferred comments to the Secret Service.

The White House has seen numerous attempts by people trying to hop the fence surrounding the building. A 2014 incident in which an Army veteran carried a folding knife onto the grounds — and got as far as the East Room — led the White House to install sharp metal spikes on the fencing.

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